Pickford Helps England Qualify For Last 16 With Thumping Win

Jordan Pickford helped England qualify for the last 16 of the World Cup as the Three Lions hammered Panama 6-1 on Sunday. 

The 24-year-old Everton stopper – who is youngest goalkeeper ever to represent England at a World Cup finals – produced another composed display in a game Gareth Southgate’s men dominated from start to finish.

Harry Kane hit a hat-trick, former Blues defender John Stones scored a brace and Jesse Lingard also got on the scoresheet as England ran riot in Nizhny Novgorod.

And while it was a relatively quiet afternoon for Pickford, his confidence and quality in possession was again evident as he helped the side build attacks from the back.


Stones got England’s opener after just eight minutes, powering home a header from Kieran Trippier’s corner.

And they doubled their advantage on 20 minutes – Kane lashing the ball past Jaime Penedo from the penalty spot after Lingard had been upended in the area.

England were in total control and soon it was 3-0, Lingard scoring the goal the of the game as he curled a brilliant 25-yard effort into the top corner on 36 minutes.

Three minutes later, England had their fourth, Stones heading in from close range after a cleverly worked free-kick.

And England had a fifth before half-time – Kane scoring his second penalty of the game after he had been wrestled to the ground in the penalty box.

England continued to control proceedings in the second half and, 62 minutes in, Kane completed his hat-trick when he deflected home Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s shot.

Pickford was forced into a save for first time four minutes later and displayed impressive alertness and concentration levels to race off his line and block Michael Murillo’s effort after the full-back was played though on goal by Edgar Barcenas.

Panama did get a consolation 12 minutes from time, Felipe Baloy’s first-time half-volley finding the finding the bottom corner, but England saw out the game with minimal fuss.

Next up for Pickford and England is a clash with Roberto Martinez’s Belgium on Thursday, in a game which will decide who qualifies for the last 16 as group winners.

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